According to Reuters, an unnamed source in the auto industry leaked information that Apple is actively inquiring about the method by which driverless cars are created. The source said that industry leaders are aware that the future of driving is on the shoulders of technology and stated, “Apple is interested in all the potential ways you can evolve the car; that includes autonomous driving.”
Autonomous cars, though still technically in test mode, might really be the future of traveling. The UK is already making plans to incorporate the needs of driverless cars into roadways and driving laws. According to the BBC, autonomous vehicles may be held to a higher standard of driving than regular citizens.
The UK is just one of many countries anticipating the shift to driverless cars. In 2014, Forbes contributor Adam Ozimek described a potential safety benefit of self-driving cars. Thousands of vehicle collisions occur each year in the United States alone, many resulting in serious injury or death. Those in favor of driverless cars insist that, as more people begin to choose autonomous vehicles, the number of accidents will drop substantially.
Although not in widespread operation currently, self-driving cars have been the subject of conversation about security concerns. Given the interconnectedness of self-driving cars and the web (Google’s prototype, for example), potential customers have expressed concern about risking personal privacy in exchange for the convenience of an autonomous car. If Apple does jump into the mix, customers will expect at least the same level of protection applied to other Apple devices, like the iPhone and iPad.
Google’s well-known self-driving car project has more than 20,000 followers on Google+ and 32,000 subscribers on YouTube, while Tesla Motors’ reputation for electric cars is internationally respected. Should Apple decide to delve into automotive manufacturing, the company will need to invest in talent that can design an electric car (an iCar, perhaps?) quickly and efficiently.
Thus far, Apple is rumored to have taken a few significant steps toward the creation of a branded electric car, including participation in a meeting with contract manufacturers in Austria. While the company is known to experiment with product design without releasing anything new to the public, some suggest Apple has the potential to dominate the automobile industry much like it captured smartphone users last quarter.
Although Apple has yet to comment on the company’s move toward the electric car market, buzz about the potential implications of such a move continue to permeate the web. Expanding the internet of things, an Apple vehicle would be the culmination of the company’s nearly four decades of innovation, especially if it drove itself.
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